Sara Westbrook – Staff Highlight

Sara Westbrook has been an employee of WVJC since April 2019.  She started as an Online Admissions Advisor where she contacted individuals requesting information on our online programs and guided potential students through the admissions, enrollment, and onboarding processes. Sara enjoyed hearing the stories of the people she supported and found it very rewarding to help people find the path to change their lives.

In October 2020, Sara transitioned into her current role of Admissions Coordinator. In this role, she works tirelessly behind the scenes supporting the Online and Morgantown admissions teams through reporting, tracking, inquiry management, and distribution, clerical support, special projects, creative designs, social media, and much more. She thoroughly enjoys working behind the scenes and supporting the admissions team. She likes the opportunity to get to know all potential and enrolled students and ensure they have everything they need for a successful start.

When asked, “What advice do you have for someone considering attending WVJC?” Sara replied, “The teams you will work with (admissions, financial aid, academic, and career services) are outstanding.  They truly care about their students and want to see them succeed.  You will definitely not feel like a number, and it’s nice to know that the faculty and staff are 100% invested in your success!”

When asked, “What advice do you have for someone considering employment with WVJC?” Sara replied, “You will feel like family from the moment you walk through the door on your first day of work.  I couldn’t ask for a better work family, as some of them have definitely become lifelong friends.”

Sara has grown personally and professionally during the past two years. She emulates our WE CARE core values every day and has proven to be a valuable resource to our staff and students.  We are thrilled to have Sara as a member of the WVJC family.

To learn more about the WVJC admissions team, request information here!

New Year, New Career at the Charleston Campus

As another year passes by, now is the time to take the next step in finding your career! At WVJC Charleston, our goal is to empower change by creating opportunity. We love to welcome students to the WVJC family and watch students succeed! WVJC is offering these suggestions for making this New Year the best one yet!

  • Choose a Specific Goal
    • Establishing a specific goal will help you stay on track to fulling your New Year’s resolution. When setting your goal, make sure it is realistic to accomplish.
  • Commit
    • Once you have established your goal, commit to yourself, and take steps to make it happen! Write your goal down and post it on your refrigerator or carry it in your wallet. This constant reminder will help you stay committed.
  • Establish a Solid Support System
    • Having a solid support system can help you stay motivated to accomplish your goals. If you have a friend or family member who wants to take steps to improve their life, set a goal together! If you have negative wizards in your life, leave them behind and surround yourself with people who support and encourage you to accomplish your goals.
  • Reward Yourself
    • Set up a personal reward system to encourage yourself. These rewards can be small such as buying yourself a special treat or a trip to the movies.

If you are ready to start your new career, contact us today to learn more about the short-term programs at WVJC! We care about your success and would love to help you accomplish your career goals! Request information here to learn more about training programs in nursing, medical assisting, billing and coding, dental, business, and IT!

Kaitlyn Pack – Student Highlight

Kaitlyn Pack graduated from Herbert Hoover High School in 2019. During her senior year, Kaitlyn was trying to decide where she wanted to go to college. She met with High School Admissions Advisor, Stephanie Duncan, while she was still in high school. “Stephanie is the reason I am here at WVJC! She told me WVJC is a lot of fun, and we are like a big family, and I am now part of the WVJC family!” Kaitlyn knew she wanted to be close to home, and after exploring her options, she decided WVJC was the best fit for her!

It was an easy decision for Kaitlyn to pursue an education for an Associate Degree in Clinical Medical Assistant because she has always loved the medical field! Kaitlyn said, “My favorite part about attending WVJC is the teachers! Everyone is like a big family! We all communicate, and everyone is there if you need them, no matter the situation.”

She continued, “My favorite person at WVJC is Mrs. Kellie! She is always in a good mood, and when I see her, it makes me happy because she is always happy!”  We asked Kaitlyn what her favorite medical assisting class was, and she said, “Clinical Laboratory Procedures is my favorite class because we got to take blood, and I loved it!” It seems like just yesterday that Kaitlyn started college at WVJC!  Now she is preparing for her externship and is looking forward to applying her medical skills in a hands-on medical office.

After graduation, Kaitlyn hopes to get a job as a medical assistant at a hospital. She would like to relocate to North Carolina or South Carolina.  In 5 years, Kaitlyn would like to be working as a medical assistant, have her own house, and driving a nice car. Kaitlyn said, “I would refer a friend to WVJC because it is a friendly place. The staff and students are all friendly, and if you want close to home, this WVJC is the place to go!” If you would like to know more about the fast-track medical assisting training program or other programs at WVJC, request information here!

Thankful For Our WVJC Bridgeport Students

From the first moment a student comes to campus, they become part of the WVJC family.  To some, the definition of family means a group of people related by blood or ancestry.  At WVJC, our family has nothing to do with genes and everything to do with caring, compassion, and support.

Autumn in West Virginia is a time a reflection, gratitude, and spending time with family. While dinner preparation or traveling may be stressful for some, it is a great time to stop and appreciate all that we have. Faculty and staff at WVJC were asked what they were most thankful for this year. A ton of great responses were received, but with one recurring theme: our students.

WVJC Bridgeport Campus President, Jenica Greynolds, says she is most thankful for the moments with students who have struggled academically or personally throughout their program, but never gave up and tried harder despite challenges.  “These are the students that come to me for tutoring or advice, and when they get to the end of their program the pride on their face makes all the hard work and time spent with them worth every minute,” added Greynolds.

Medical Program Director, Caitlin Syrews, said she is grateful for her students because they keep her laughing and on her toes. She remembers laughing hysterically over a student putting their gloves on backward. She really believes that adding fun to education at WVJC makes a lasting impression, and is thankful to our WVJC students for allowing her to do so.

The Career Management Director, Amber Porter, is thankful and proud of our students daily.  She enjoys watching our students become professional and confident in the process.  She said, “The best part of my job is watching them become professional and seeing the excitement when they get the job.”

Financial Aid Director, Alice Middleton, describes why she is thankful for WVJC students, especially during these trying times: “During a time of uncertainty with COVID 19 our students keep pursuing their dream, they always stop in to say hi and see how you are doing.  I am thankful that we have students who are compassionate and caring and will be a great role model in society.”


Noticeably, we are thankful for our WVJC students not only now, but every day. Current Medical Assisting student, Alyssa Shue, says it is obvious that WVJC cares about their students.  She said, “Anytime I have a question they never hesitate to explain and make sure I understand it before moving on. They also always make us feel comfortable and not to be afraid to speak up.”

This year, WVJC is taking the time to reflect on all the positives. From students overcoming difficult challenges, taking the time to have fun, becoming professionals in their careers, and pursuing their dreams, there is always something to be thankful for. WVJC is most thankful for our students.

Rhonda Hardy – Faculty Highlight

Rhonda Hardy was born in Elkins, WV, and has remained in WV her entire life. She is married, with a son, daughter, 3 dogs, and a cat. During high school, Rhonda made plans to go to UCLA and become a marine biologist, but fate had other plans for her. She met the love of her life when she was 15 and he had no plans of leaving WV. The summer between her junior and senior year in high school, Rhonda moved in with his family to help take care of his mother who was terminally ill with cancer. That is when she discovered that nursing was her true calling.

Rhonda began her nursing career as an LPN in 2000. During this time, she worked as a float and step-down nurse at Fairmont General Hospital. In 2006, she returned to school at Mountain State University and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Summa Cum Laude. She continued to work at Fairmont General Hospital and became an Emergency Room nurse.

In the summer of 2019, she left Fairmont General Hospital and became a floor nurse at Grafton City Hospital because she felt like she forgot what it meant to be a compassionate and caring nurse.

In 2019, Pam Wilson asked Rhonda to join the West Virginia Junior College team in Bridgeport.  Rhonda excitedly accepted her new position as a practical nursing instructor. She recently accepted the Clinical Coordinator position for both nursing programs at WVJC Bridgeport. Her passion is educating students and feeling like she is making a difference. The students have made her see that making this change was the best decision for her. She loves that WVJC is such a close-knit family and so supportive of their staff and students. She cannot wait to start this new position to see where it may lead.

To learn more about WVJC’s Practical Nursing and Nursing programs, request information here!

Rachael Salvucci – Academic Dean

Hi everyone! My name is Rachael Salvucci, your new academic dean. However, this is not my first time being part of the WVJC family. I’ve actually been teaching at WVJC since 2013 as an online adjunct instructor. Some of you have probably had me for English Comp or Research and Writing.  I am very excited to be here with all of you and I look forward to getting to meet and know everyone.

I graduated from Penn State University with a degree in English education in 2005, and then went on to receive my Masters of Education from The University of Pittsburgh in curriculum and instruction and earned my administration certificate in 2011. Teaching and leading is my passion. I’ve been a high school English teacher in Pennsylvania for the past 15 years, and l spent one year as an assistant principal. My favorite part of teaching high school was my students.  Every year I became more surprised and proud of who they are and who they became, and I was blessed to have been a part of that.  While I loved teaching, I knew I wanted to move out of public education and into the postsecondary world.  So now I am here at WVJC full time and ready to help everyone succeed.

As the academic dean, my priority is my students. I want to see all of you succeed, so I am here when you need me. My goal is to maintain and elevate the high standards and welcoming environment at WVJC. Please feel free to stop by and say hello or send me an email and introduce yourself.

I was introduced to WVJC through Brittany Nuzzo Callen, and I fell in love with online teaching with my first class. Once I taught my first class at WVJC I knew I wanted to stay and teach more. That connection, thankfully, has led me to this position, and I couldn’t be happier. My favorite part of working at WVJC is most definitely the people. Everyone I’ve met and worked with at WVJC has been amazing, helpful, and enthusiastic, so I can’t imagine a better place to work. I also am looking forward to establishing many more wonderful relationships with the current and upcoming faculty and students.

I am mainly motivated by my 4.5-year-old twin boys, AJ and Nino. I want to provide them with a great life, but I also want to be the best for them. I want them to see that it’s possible to find an enjoyable and satisfying career without compromising their values. I want to be a strong role model for them while also teaching them to be good people, and the way that I treat the people I work with will hopefully portray that.  I want to encourage them to follow their dreams and support them in the process. Being their mom is one of the best and most important things to ever happen to me. I am so proud of them. They surprise me each and every day and I can’t believe that they are mine. They are amazing humans and most days outsmart me.

Something interesting people might not know about me is that I love to travel. My husband and I plan to go to as many countries as we can. So far we’ve been to 9, but that number will change each year. We also have a plan to travel to every state with our boys, so we are excited to plan our next destination and start our next road trip.

Again, I am so excited to be here with all of you and help support you in any way that I can.  I wish everyone a strong and healthy start!

Practical Nursing Graduation – 2019

Graduation, the day we long for from the day we begin any educational journey. It is a time to celebrate; celebrate your accomplishments not only for yourself,  but with friends and family. The day where reality sets in and you start into another part of your life journey.

The dictionary defines graduation as “the receiving or conferring of an academic degree or diploma.”  Many of us look at graduation as a day of accomplishment and success, which you should.  Some question, “Am I told old to walk at graduation?” The answer is no.  Accomplishments should be celebrated at all ages and at all times in our lives.

In December 2019, West Virginia Junior College celebrated the success of eleven practical nurses as they walked across the stage at Via Veneto’s in Bridgeport. On this special day, we celebrated not only their accomplishments but also looked back upon the journey to get them where they are today. The laughter, hard work, dedication, many sleepless nights, and countless study sessions finally became a reality, that they were overwhelmingly proud of.  Family, friends, and instructors glowed in happiness in the success of not only the completion,  but also the level of professionalism from this group of ladies.

After graduation, they continued to accomplish many more achievements. Every December 2019 practical nursing graduate passed their NCLEX exam, which officially gave them the title of “Licensed Practical Nurse.”  Not only were they proud of themselves but also of each other. Together as a team, they continue to grow and prosper.  Each graduate also quickly obtained employment after graduation and are happy to be in the healthcare field, a dream they all had since they were little. “Every nurse is drawn to nursing because of a desire to care, to serve, or to help.”  – Christina Feist-Heilmeier, RN.

At WVJC Bridgeport, you become a part of a small family. The small classes and the one on one attention you receive, are like no other.  We offer many different programs within our WVJC family and we always celebrate everyone’s accomplishments during graduation.

To learn more about WVJC’s Practical Nursing program, request information here!

We’re Here for You Through COVID-19

Our lives have dramatically changed in the last few weeks as we all adjust to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. From our movements being restricted, to learning to homeschool our children, to the heroes on the front lines battling this virus, we have all been affected.

At West Virginia Junior College, we want our students, our community, and our future students to know one thing: we are here for you and we will support you in every way possible. We’re all in this fight together, and we will get through it together.

Supporting WVJC Students

At WVJC, we are not just a college, we are a family. Throughout this difficult time, we continue to remain fully committed to our purpose of empowering change by creating opportunity.

We are committed to serving and supporting our WVJC student family through the COVID-19 pandemic. To enable our students to continue training for rewarding careers, our ground campuses are providing live remote classes for all students. Via these live remote classes, students can continue to gain valuable knowledge and develop professional skills, setting them up for successful careers.

Students may travel to campus to receive distance learning materials and other essential services, as educational institutions are considered essential businesses in West Virginia. We’re taking every precaution necessary to ensure our facilities are sanitized and are operating under social distancing requirements. All instructors are also available to remotely assist students with anything they need for those who cannot or prefer not to travel to campus.

To further support our students during this time, WVJC has created an Interim Leave of Absence Policy for active students in good academic standing, who are unable to complete or begin an externship due to COVID-19. We have also revised the current incomplete policy for students who cannot sit for their certification exams during this time. For more information and guidance on these policies, please visit the COVID-19 Information page.

Supporting the Community

In addition to continuing to supporting our students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are highly invested in our community and dedicated to serving it by providing the local workforce with trained and qualified medical professionals.

With healthcare programs including Nursing, Practical Nursing, Clinical Medical Assistant, Medical Office Administration, Dental Assisting, Medical CodingHealthcare Administration, and Pharmacy Technician, WVJC graduates are on the front lines fighting the virus, caring for sick patients, and providing critical support to hospitals and doctor’s offices.

We pledge to continue supporting members of the community and local healthcare teams by educating and training essential healthcare workers who are critical to saving lives during the pandemic.

Supporting Future Students

Due to COVID-19 and the mandatory restrictions on non-essential businesses, many people and families have been negatively impacted. There have been many people who have lost their jobs or been laid off, with millions all over the country who have applied for unemployment benefits.

With our purpose of empowering change by creating opportunity, we believe that WVJC has a responsibility to help people by providing them the opportunity to get retrained and back to work. With this in mind, we are now offering virtual campus visits for all potential students. Additionally, we are waiving all enrollment fees for applicants starting college in May or June of 2020. It’s our hope that this will help people who have been affected by providing them the opportunity to start their path to a more secure career.

We also understand that it’s hard for high school students who are dealing with this time of uncertainty while trying to make decisions about what to do after graduation. We encourage all high school seniors to explore our career training college degree programs that may lead to successful, rewarding careers.

To learn more about our healthcare and professional college degree programs, contact us today to schedule a remote admissions meeting.

Nicole Jones – Externship Highlight

So you’ve gotten in to college and now you’ve gotten through a few courses and find yourself thinking about entering the work force. With a few more courses and graduation in sight, you find yourself applying for one of the most exciting parts of the Clinical Medical Assistant program, the externship!

Please meet WVJC-Charleston  Clinical Medical Assistant student, Nicole Jones. Nicole wanted to extend her medical career into medical assisting because of her experience in coding. Nicole’s training increased her marketable skills to not just working the front and back of the medical office, but also to providing patient care. Nicole has her sights set on furthering her career in a medical office and working her way up to office manager. Nicole is scheduled to graduate this winter and is very excited!

Nicole has always been fascinated by the medical field. When asked what her favorite course was, she said “I loved all of my lab classes. Getting to be hands on was fun and I learned a lot more because I’m a really hands on learner”. Hands-on learning is one of the fundamental strengths of the Clinical Medical Assistant program at WVJC. Instructors encourage students to not onl

y participate in class and labs, but also stress the importance of externships to gain even more in-field training and experience.

There are many externship sites that partner with WVJC and often, students can tour sites to decide which externship would be best for them. Nicole decided to apply for a medical office that she recently the opportunity to learn it presented. After making this decision, Nicole spoke with the onsite manager and told him she was very interested in gaining experience at that location. After a few phone calls and assistance from the Medical Director at WVJC – Charleston, Ms. Chelsea Abbott, Nicole had an interview!

Nicole spent a few months working at her externship site and really enjoyed it! She will start orientation this October for full time employment. Nicole said that if students are looking for externships, she has a few tips. Nicole stressed that students need to “show up and be dependable.” She continued, saying “You should treat you externship like you are interviewing for a job. Do things to help even when you are not asked. Lastly, actually take the time to show interest and ask questions.”

Nicole is very grateful for all the staff and instructors who have been amazing to her and she said she had learned so much. “I will miss them all!” she said. At 31, Nicole is a mother to three kids. She wanted to provide a better life for her children and to show them to never give up on their dreams.

Do you have a dream like Nicole? Do  you have career goals like she did and want to continue education to learn valuable skills that will be more marketable to employers, AND provide a better life for yourself and your family? If you value education like Nicole and are hardworking, then come see us at WVJC to learn how we can help you find a career!

Jess Lowe – Admissions Advisor Highlight

Hi!  My name is Jess Lowe and I am the High School Admissions Advisor for WVJC Morgantown and Online! I’ve been a part of the WVJC family for about a year and a half, and my favorite part of working here, aside from all the amazing students and families that I get to help, is working alongside such dedicated and caring faculty and staff.

I am the proud mom of 3 amazing kids and I have a strong belief that each new day provides the opportunity to do better than the day before, which usually means I’m in pursuit of some goal! Those goals vary, but are often related to exercise, eating healthy, reading a new book, or watching a documentary. I spend a lot of time with my family, enjoy music of any kind (except new country), and love to hike/ camp, read, bake, garden, and crochet. I’m super competitive and play a lot of card and board games with my family.

I absolutely love to explore and someday hope to spend my retirement traveling the continent in my Food Truck. This will allow me to fulfill my lifelong dream of living completely untethered to any particular place and meeting as many people and experiencing as many different cultures as possible.  My first stop is going to be Red Rocks Amphitheater near Denver, Colorado. Stop by and let me know which other areas I should put on my bucket list.

If you are a high school senior, there is a good chance that you will meet with me on your journey toward college. If you have any questions about WVJC, would like to tour our campus, or need to know the next scholarship deadline, feel free to reach out to me at lowe.jessica@wvjc.edu. I look forward to meeting you!